Montana State University

Cairns named to Lysle A. Wood Professorship

February 5, 2008 -- MSU News Service

Montana State University engineering professor Doug Cairns has been named the inaugural Lysle A. Wood Distinguished Professor of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering.   High-Res Available

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Tel: (406) 994-4571
Doug Cairns, professor of mechanical and industrial engineering at Montana State University, has been named the inaugural Lysle A. Wood Distinguished Professor of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at MSU. Wood was an MSU graduate who became vice president and general manager of the aero-space division of the Boeing Company.

The professorship was established with a $1 million dollar gift from Wood's estate. The Wood endowment will support aerospace technology research, provide faculty who teach aerospace-related classes with funds for professional development, and pay for students to explore career options in aerospace.

Cairns received his doctorate in aeronautics and astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1987. He joined MSU's faculty in 1995 from Hercules Materials Company in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he was manager of composite materials technology. Cairns' research focuses on developing, analyzing, and testing advanced composite materials used in aerospace, civil, and marine structural applications. He recently began testing new materials and manufacturing techniques for wind turbine blades. Cairns works with industry partners to transfer research findings to advanced structures and recently developed an aircraft structures course at MSU with engineers from Boeing.

Cairns is a former chairman of the materials technical committee of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and MSU's representative for the Montana Aerospace Development Association. Cairns teaches undergraduate- and graduate-level courses and chairs the Mechanical Engineering Graduate Studies Committee.

Contact: Doug Cairns, (406) 994-6050; e-mail at